How often do you do the same workout? Are you still getting the results you used to get when you first began the program? How can you remain steadfast at reaching your fitness goals?
Below I have listed a variety of ways to keep your workouts new and challenging.
- Always begin with a proper warm up. This includes soft tissue work on a foam roller, mobility exercises, and dynamic stretching. Utilizing a proper warm up is the best way to prevent injury and get the most out of your workouts.
- Keep progressing-Never be satisfied with that you did during your last workout. Try lifting heavier, or getting one more rep than before, perfecting your form, or alternating high reps low weights/low reps and heavy weights.
- Shorten your rest breaks-By doing this you will keep up the intensity in the workout and give yourself a bit more cardio.
- Focus on full body exercises-Split jacks, jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and spider mans. These are a handful of full body exercises that give more bang for their buck.
- Try descending sets-This is an excellent tool for getting maximum burn of your muscles and fat. Begin with 10 reps of an exercise such as lateral squats and follow that with 10 reps of shoulder presses. Without resting immediately go into another set of 9 of each, then 8 of each and follow this pattern down until you only perform 1 of each. It’s a great way to burn a lot of calories at the end of a workout.
- Try intervals-If you are in a hurry and still want to get your cardio in, give interval training a try. You can perform them on a treadmill or on a stationary bike. Begin by pedalling slowly to warm up, then increase the tension and the speed for a specific period of time (for example 30 seconds) and pedal as fast as you can/or run as hard as you can. After 30 sec, reduce the tension and pedal slowly/walk slowly to recover for 30 sec. Repeat this process 5 times. After the 5 reps, pedal gently/walk slowly for 5 minutes and repeat.
- Inject bursts of cardio between sets of weights-During your rest breaks between sets of lifting weights, try doing some short bursts of cardio such as running stairs, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, running on the spot, rapid steps etc. This is a great way to maximize your time at the gym and get the most out of your workouts.
Another way you can inject new life into your workout program is to try something you have never done before. For example, go to a spin class, try kick boxing, take swimming lessons, or go to a boot camp. You have nothing to lose and you may meet people who have similar interests and goals as yourself. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals is a great way to stay motivated.
Try downloading an awesome playlist to your iPod that will keep the tempo up during your workouts and will help you push harder on each rep. I find I have my best workouts with fewer distractions when I have my earphones in and I am focused solely on working as hard as I can.
Keeping variety in your workouts not only keeps you interested in what you are doing, but also creates something called muscle confusion. It is this confusion principle that keeps the body changing and adapting which equals gains in muscle strength and size. Give the suggestions above a try to kick-start your own workout.